The Victoria Sports-University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses are not to expected to win many games in the 2017 Chooks-to-Go Philippine Superliga Grand Prix.
But they’re expected to fight, nonetheless.
The Golden Tigresses will have more matches like yesterday, when they faced a Petron team heavily stacked with experienced imports and quality local players. They might pull off an unlikely upset, but — given the quality of team’s this conference — their young lineup will most likely not hold up against big clubs.
Winning, however, is beyond the concern of these Tigresses. They’re more focused on the process of getting better and developing a winning attitude in the face of extreme adversity.
UST have their eyes on UAAP Season 80. Having reached the Final Four after a four-year absence last season, the Golden Tigresses are now set on making it back to the Finals for the first time in a decade.
Before going into the UAAP as favorites, the Tigresses can learn valuable lessons from being underdogs in the PSL.
“Nakita niyo naman, lumalaban talaga sila. Hindi sila pumunta dito para lang magbigay ng panalo sa ibang team, talagang china-challenge nila ‘yung sarili nila,” gushed UST head coach Kungfu Reyes, who had to coach against the Tigresses with his Cocolife Asset Managers last Tuesday.
“Sabi ko nga kahit anong mangyari this conference, panalo na kami kasi ang laking bagay talaga na nakakalaro sila sa PSL.”
Cherry Rondina echoes Reyes’ sentiments. The incoming UST senior had to face off against her team while playing for Petron. The Cebuana raved about the tremendous heart her teammates had shown.
“Kita mo kanina ‘yung fighting spirit sa kanila. Hindi sila sumuko kahit malaki ‘yung imports namin or marami akong veteran na kakampi,” Rondina said, adding she would have been proud to play alongside her teammates on Thursday night.
“Sabi nga ni coach [Kungfu] sa aming lahat, maglaro kami na hindi kami ikakahiya ng UST. Ibigay namin ‘yung lahat at magtulong-tulong para sa preparation sa UAAP.”